Farmers hit hard by red tape: productivity and stress among concerns

On day four of CFIB’s 4th annual Red Tape Awareness WeekTM CFIB puts the spotlight on the negative impact red tape has on Canada’s farmers. Most businesses cite red tape as their second highest concern behind the total tax burden, but recent CFIB data puts red tape at the top of the list of farmers’ concerns (79%).  

Results from CFIB’s survey reveal that farmers are the hardest hit by red tape:

  • 72%  say the burden of red tape has increased over the past 3 years, compared to 55% of other business owners
  • 87% of agri-business owners say excessive regulations add stress to their lives, compared to 80% of other business owners
  • 68% say red tape discourages them from growing their business, compared to  62% of other business owners
  • 69% of agri-business owners say red tape significantly reduces productivity in their businesses
  • 28% of farmers say that if they had known about the burden of regulations, they may not have gone into business

Over-regulation, confusing paperwork, and bad customer service are crippling agriculture businesses and stifling innovation. This is a concern to all Canadians, as it is a critical sector employing two million Canadians and generating over $44 billion worth of our trade.

There have been some recent government actions that give us hope, including some initiatives by the CFIA, but more work is required to reduce red tape so farmers feel some relief and can continue to provide safe, high-quality food for Canadians.